People to People International, formerly known as People Ambassador Programs, offers educational travel for students in grade school through college. For over 50 years, they have helped students experience new cultures and places as no other tour group can. People to People employees are dedicated to the design and delivery of each travel program. Enriching Cultural Experiences International now serves as their sole travel provider.
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It's been about 10 years since I went on my P2P trip. What I remember is meetings and oversimplified prep work to try and prepare us. During the meetings they tried to get us to get to know each other and make sure that we could get along during our 3 week journey to Italy and Greece. But with 30-40 high schoolers, it just wasn't possible to form any friendships during those short chaperoned meetings. On the first morning on the other side of the world, the boys and girls were sitting separately during breakfast. I decided to fix that and sit with the boys. That was a mistake because I was judged and outcast from the girls for the rest of the trip. Girls that didn't even bother to learn my name.
The whole trip were the meanest. I have never felt so isolated, invisible, and misunderstood in my life. We saw some of the most beautiful places in the world, and my memories of it are bittersweet at best because I learned the hard way how important it is to have the right companionship while traveling, and how damaging other people's egos, judgements, and clicks can be. We encouraged each almost new friend through peer pressure to alienate each other. And there was nothing the two overwhelmed adults on the trip could do even when I brought it to their attention that I was getting left behind, ignored, and bullied.
The letter I received from People to People was addressed to a fake synonym I had crafted a couple/years prior on the then nascent web. Yet, I was accepted & had a wonderful, a life toppling goal as an adult to surpass experience as an adult. Honestly, I can't speak to the cost when I embarked on the voyage. I was told back in 1998 - 2001... I can't honestly recall the year to be honest, other than a personal marker that I was in the seventh to eighth grade, maybe, on my way to the ninth... I was at that awesome point of life off being young & full of hormones wanting me to be both bold with my conduct & actions in the normal everyday, to 'lead' in the humdrum; to wanting to seduce 'girls' on a level that can only be achieved at that point in time when given a certain amount of latitude and inability to hover. I would, we could, call the experience a personal learning 'experience'.
It was a fantastic, awesome, growing experience that better prepared me for, if needed, taking a leadership role in a pinch. It was a democratic process in action of the group, with minimal interference from adults & believe it, or not, as a group & individuals that splintered off away from the gravitational pressure that has came to epitomize the balance between the individual and the group. Such interaction -- even away from that direct influence of the group although in my experience it was always beneficial -- that's by no means to be taken as being void of responsibility -- we all made fantastic decisions & had a wonderful time. We all grew as individuals while learning important lessons through that vehicle of freedom, actions governed by the groups propensity towards honesty, friendship, team and ability to be irreverent.
Fantastic food (everyone within the group seemed to answer steak as their favorite meal, thus, we all enjoyed steak as being an offering at practically every dinner, or lunch). I enjoyed a fantastic host family, was allowed to play Rugby in a school yard, with school children of my age at the time, where I managed the tenacity/grit, the desire to tackle my foreign peer & take some heels to the face while I took my mission of tackling that Aussie (oi oi oi) with a bit of unrelenting determination.
Honestly, building those relationships at point in my life was a great boon to my personal development. Having gotten to some of those genuinely nice, fellow travelers has gone down as an experience & span of my life, I will topple while young, and vibrant. So was it expensive? I honestly don't really know, but, I can say hopping around the beds those first few nights with my friend Lewie squashed the bigotry I heard in social settings of school. The greatest lessons I managed to gather was that we're all individuals with independent desires & hopes. That the easiest way for us to accomplish our goals is through cooperation towards that end; most importantly ** the noise that attempts to draw an arbitrary line with an intention to divide us. Would I recommend the Aussie experience to others, absolutely. I don't think when I did the trip it was more than $3,000.00, but, I could be wrong.
I went as a student to Australia and New Zealand summer of 2000. I was 15 at the time and it was so disorganized. Not enough adults that's for sure. Half my team would go out and party (a few actually disappeared for a few days). We only played 1 game. We won so I'm not sure why we didn't advance or anything. Waste of money. Waste of time. Never would I allow my kids to even think about doing this program. In fact when I returned home to New Mexico I made sure everybody knew how horrible it was.
In March, 2014, I wrote about the fact that this company lied to me about how they had obtained the contact information for my daughter. They dispute the fact that they gathered her name from a purchased list, and claim that she was nominated by someone at her school. Of course, it is irrelevant that my daughter died when she was less than a month old, never attended a school, or that the letter arrived in my mailbox on (what would have been) her 14th birthday. Despite their claims in the response, here I was assured that someone would be calling me to "explain how this happened", they never called. If they are a legitimate program, why do they have to lie about how they obtain their mailing lists?
An unsolicited letter came for my child saying it was an honor to be selected for travel experiences. The cost was quite high, but as a recently divorced single mom I wanted some new experiences for my child. The upfront mailings and orientation meetings seemed alright, but red flags were apparent even before leaving the local airport. The tour leader (a seemingly bored teacher who got a free trip) was so unconcerned with the students under her care: ignoring them and looking quite unhappy to be saddled with unruly teens for 3 weeks. That was in fact the truth of her. She represented this "educational" company quite badly.
When minor problems arose in Ireland, she was quick to put my child in a sort of quarantine for the rest of the trip, calling me several times to complain of the bad behavior. I could do nothing of course. The truth is there was some misbehavior, but to be publicly shamed for a $1.50 item was uncalled for! All they care about is money. Book your own enriching travel experiences and save the cheater mentality of People to People. I strongly dislike them. It's a scam. Enjoy your time with your children. It's over too soon. Don't look to the money grubbers to make memories. They'll only be bad ones. There are many online negative reviews on this company. Listen to us.
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Our daughter attended the 2015 People to People Learning To Lead in Washington D.C. this summer. She went to The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, The White House, Congressional Library, National Monuments, etc. She had a wonderful time. She came home exhausted! They keep the kids organized and busy. My daughter had homework to finish before the trip, writing projects each evening, yet loved it and made wonderful friends. Our daughter was in entering 5th grade. She is the youngest child in our home and more mature than most kids her age. I do think 5th grade would be a bit too young for most kids. She felt a little homesick at times. Luckily they let her bring a cell phone. She would only use the phone about 9:00 PM each evening (to FaceTime me before bed each night). She loved the program and will go on another trip with P2P.
We raised money and rolled it over when our interpreter had to back out of going. This year we went to all the meetings but were not able to raise all the money, because now we needed to raise for my deaf daughter and an interpreter. Well my daughter had a medical hold on her account which met they were to get a hold of us. We got a hold of them, just to be told $3,400. was gone totally and will not refund it to us at all.
My daughter was scheduled to leave on the European Heritage trip from Buffalo, NY on July 7 through 26. Due to extreme weather in the layover city, their flight was cancelled and alternative arrangements had to be made. My problem lies with the decisions that were made by the leader in charge, and how it profoundly and adversely affects the remainder of the trip.
Instead of keeping the group together, which seems to be the most fair, logical and appropriate measure, a group of 7 children along with a leader were put on another flight and made it to London more or less within the original time frame. The other 25 or so kids had their flight cancelled, had to go home and come back the next day to make one of two overnight flights to London. In the meantime, the Lucky 7 made it to London and proceeded to go on their itinerary without the rest of the delegation!
You cannot begin to image how profoundly hurtful, disappointing and upsetting this was to those left behind. To make matters worse, all three of my daughter's friends with whom she was going on this trip made the cut because they had the good fortune to have a name that starts with a B. This poor decision making has effectively created two separate and distinct classes: the lucky few, and the second class citizens.
I also question the decision to send all of the kids home again as well; getting everyone to the airport again is no small feat. Wouldn't it have made more sense to put them up in a hotel across from the airport for the night so, once again, at least they'd all be together, and check in would be easier and faster? Instead, it placed an undue burden on parents, many of whom do not live close to the airport. Parents needed to take additional time off work to get their child to the airport on time for their makeup flights. When I questioned the delegation leader about this, I was told "that's not how we do things"! 25 kids with only 2 leaders? It's not possible. Yet the entire delegation of approximately 33 was going to be shepherded through multiple foreign countries with only one additional leader?
To make matters even worse if that is even possible at this point the next morning while our kids still waited to board their flights to get out of the States, we are treated to pictures and updates from The Lucky 7 as they go about their itinerary and go out for lunch, seeing the Hampton Court Palace the one highlight in London my daughter was *most* looking forward to seeing. Talk about rubbing salt in an already open wound!
When I returned to the airport (an hours drive from my home, by the way) to retrieve my daughter, I confronted Glen **, the local delegation leader about his disregard for our students and the regrettable decision to send a small group on ahead. I was told I was being irrational, that life isn't fair, that I should be happy for those other students and, with a smug look and a dismissive smile, I was told to take it up with corporate. This is not what I expected from a leader. Frankly, these trips are far too expensive to be treated this shoddily.
In addition, I called the main P2P number during the day to try to get some answers, yet despite the fact it was during normal business hours, I was made to leave a message twice. No one ever returned my call, even though I requested they did. Then, when I contacted their Facebook page and saw the number I should call while my daughter is actively traveling with a group, I did just that. I was on hold more than 16 minutes, listening to a loop of self-promotional diatribe repeated ad nauseam. I finally gave up, and reluctantly called the emergency number to speak with someone. Waiting 16 minutes for someone to answer the phone is inexcusable!
The next day, when we went to make our rescheduled flight, the same thing occurred again: the flight was delayed, and they were grounded yet again. This time, Delta "generously" offered to put them up in a hotel overnight and pay for their meals. Big deal, they do that for any traveler in the same situation. When I contact Mr. Chapin about some sort of compensation for this disaster of a trip, my options boiled down to pulling my daughter off the trip entirely in exchange for a full refund, restarting the program with a new group of strangers she'd never met before, or blending into the current program that was underway with no additional activities added in or compensation offered. This so called "solution" was sub-par at best. The things my daughter missed can never be made up, and we're just flat out of luck... and $7.000+.
I cannot express my dismay and utter outrage over this situation enough; what should have been a monumental trip of a lifetime turned into a giant screw up where she was treated as a second class citizen while a lucky few, including three of her closest friends, went on to have a phenomenal experience. There is no way to predict or account for poor weather, and I completely understand that. However, I strongly feel that the delegation should have been kept together. It seems as if I am supposed to just be okay with missing out on two full days of a 20 day itinerary. I am not. My daughter may never get back to England to see the Hampton Court Palace that she missed out on seeing today an opportunity forever lost. At least if the group had been kept together, they would have been on a level playing field.
The trip was supposed to be great. It was a 19 day European trip and I was excited. When we got here we had been up for a little over 30 hours and very hungry. The entire trip we stayed at sketchy hotels and ate the smallest food portions. The group leaders were not what we expected. There was a big problem with drama and people hurting other people's feelings. I would not recommend this if you care for your child. Never have I been so disappointed in that big of an investment.
This company is a scam! They are heartless and don't care about you or your child. They are not leaders. They are selfish, only think about themselves. They refused to give me my refund, used it for another student - my money!
My son went to Europe with the People to People student ambassador group. It was a horrible experience for him and for me. First, it's expensive. You could do the same trip for less on your own. Second, they stay at second or even third-rate accommodations. My son was in a youth hostel during this trip and there were no phones. Third, the phone tree that the organization set up did not work. We were supposed to get calls when they arrived at new locales - didn't happen. Fourth, my son and his chaperon were like oil and water. She was mean to him and he hated every second that he was with her. Overall, I would recommend against this trip and this organization.
My son received a letter for the Canada program for 12 days. I contacted people to people to find out how they received my son's information. I was told AAU so I contacted them and they had no idea what I was talking about and stated they don't nominate children, they place ads and the parent or child would have to contact People to People. I had AAU contact People to People on 3 way to straighten the confusion out only to be told that the invitation number on the letter showed him no information as to anyone nominating him and that it more than likely came from a database. Not my words but the words of People to People representative.
Now I'm am completely baffled by the back and forth, all this to get information that is important to parents considering spending this type of money for a lengthy amount of time for a 10 year old. It sounded as if the woman was reading from a transcript. She couldn't answer me properly and when I asked for a supervisor she informed me that the supervisor said the information she gave me was correct and to contact AAU regarding the nomination. As you can see that was a bunch of nonsense. So anyone considering spending that much money with this company beware and do your investigating first.
I just received a letter inviting my 5th grader to a trip with P2P. It looked very professional and I was very excited and happy. It made me feel like my son was nominated and honored, privileged... When I went to check the reviews for P2P I was in shock by the many complaints about P2P sending letters to children that died before even going to school, that says a lot to me... Sorry, can't trust my child to this kind of company.
I just received letter of invitations for my two daughters to attend an introductory meeting for this program. I also would like to know how this organization got our information on a minor child. Through birth records? I don't like marketing taken to this level, it is invasive. The programs should have information fairs at the schools. When I logged into our invitation code, it doesn't give you specific information on the program, like tuition, but instead takes you to a confirmation page to accept the meeting time. I cannot judge this program, but when I looked at the website, the program is extremely expensive and there do not seem to be many options for scholarships.
In 2006-2007 I finally decided to give People to People a chance. For years I had been getting invitations for the People to People program but I was too scared to go abroad by myself. That was until I turned 14. I want to let everyone know that my parents and I have never regretted our choice in People to People. I went into the program a shy anxious child and came back an outgoing confident teenager. If you are a parent reading this review because you are a little nervous about sending your child away on a big trip like this, let me put your mind at ease. This program was the best thing that ever happened to me. It's been 7-8 years since my trip with People to People and I still catch myself telling stories about my European Odyssey trip with them.
This program offers more than any classroom can offer a child or teen. It offers them a chance to learn about the world by experiencing it. This program teaches delegates to learn about and appreciate other cultures. As a former delegate, I find that I befriend many different types of people and to this day I still love hearing and learning about everyone's culture. This program not only sparked my love of knowledge, but my love of travel as well. Overall this program has taught me to be the best person I can be and to be confident in the person that I am.
I am trying to inquire where People to People got the name for my child and the mailing address. I am concerned of fraudulent activity, since the name on the invite was the name and spelling of my child the day she was born, but was never given to social security. We changed her name 1-2 days after she was born (Almost 12 years ago). How do I go about finding this information?
I traveled with People to People in the summer of 1979. Our group from Greenwood Village, Colorado was combined with a group from Lancaster, Pennsylvania. We toured Southern Europe for six weeks to include six countries: Germany, Austria, Greece, Italy, Hungary, and Yugoslavia (this was a long time ago). During that time we stayed with families in Germany, Austria, and Greece. It's 35 years later and now my 20 year old daughter is spending her summer in Germany with the family I stayed with during the People to People program. I believe we have created a legacy. What a great program to still have impact on my life over three decades later. Mission accomplished.
My child traveled to western Canada last year with P2P. We were highly impressed with how they kept us updated on the changes in the itinerary due to flooding in the area they were in. We felt so comfortable with this that we decided to let him go again this year. He's heading to Europe this year, 7 countries in 20 days. School can't get out soon enough for him!
My 13 y.o. son participated in the Reef and Beyond program of People to People Student Ambassadors and loved every minute of it. He traveled with a delegation out of the Detroit, MI and had an awesome primary leader in Christine **.
I traveled for two years with P2P which were the best experiences of my life. Not only did we get to grasp the culture and wonders of new countries, but I made friends and met really great people (like our delegation manager) that I am still friends with to this day. I would recommend P2P to anybody.
My son is in 6th grade and spent 6 days in Washington, D.C. and Gettysburg with People to People. He had a great experience and came home with many new friends. He visited many historical sites and attractions but more importantly he came back more confident and mature.
Absolutely awesome. Probably the best summer of my life. One of the only things I would change would be to spend more time in France, and in places other than Paris. That could cut into Italy time if necessary, since we had the bulk of the trip there. But France seemed like it was just tacked on at the end. Still very cool, seeing the Louvre and Eiffel Tower, but it could have been more in depth, like Greece and Italy.
The only thing I would change is the home stay. I believe every student traveling abroad should have the opportunity to touch base with the host family before the trip. In this day and age where telephone, e-mail, internet, Skype is so widely available, I think PTP could make this happen.
Great trip, planned fantastically. The only thing I wasn't real satisfied with was the food, the lack of time for sleep, and a few of the group leaders, but I would definitely recommend the program to others.
This company claims they offer scholarships but take the liberty to change rules and deadlines as they see fit. My child entered a project into their system that she worked on for several days for a scholarship BEFORE the deadline only to find out the day AFTER the deadline for project for that scholarship had been extended for an additional 30 more days with no explanation or reason! Then we found out that that particular scholarship was ONLY for a specific region that we do not even live in!!! NONE of that was ever explain anywhere on the scholarship information. TOTAL FRAUD and manipulation. They have NO scholarships and offer NO assistance!!!!!
My son was able to take this trip to France, Italy, Switzerland and Australia. He loved all of the experiences he had with his group. He especially liked the home-stay family. We are hoping one day to go back and visit them. The cost is high, but once it gets broken down, the per day cost is reasonable. I would recommend a trip with them as long as you know your child can follow the rules set, and has a lust for learning!
I sent two sons on PTP trips. The real life experiences helped them understand life and people in other countries. They had great leaders. I was confident in the program due to the emphasis on safety. No regrets.
Thank you for trusting us with not only one, but two of your sons for their travel abroad experience. Safety is always our top priority and we appreciate that is provided you peace of mind. Thanks again for your time!
It was a very enlightening experience for my daughter. She learned a lot and really enjoyed the trip. For me, it was about the comfort the leaders showed with my daughter as she traveled across the country with them. The leaders kept us informed before, during, and after the trip. We knew exactly where they were as they went to the different places.
Thank you for your feedback - it's great to hear our leaders made your daughter's trip a success. We are proud to partner with teachers from around the nation and are happy to hear they kept you informed the entire time she was abroad - that's what we strive for. Thanks again fro your time and sharing your experience!
I truly loved both of the trips that I went on through People to People Ambassador Program. In 2009 I went to China, and in 2011, I went on the European Heritage trip. Going on the trips really helps you grow up and become a more independent individual. There are leaders, but they aren't going to hold your hand. On the trips, I faced some of my biggest fears with the support of those around me, and I don't regret it. I still reference back to my trips fondly and am reminded of the awesome opportunities I was given through the program.
Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with us! You traveled on 2 of our most popular programs and we're thrilled to know they made such a positive impact on you. We love to hear from our alum - be sure to keep in touch! Thanks again for your time.
Middle school delegation to Australia for 12 days was absolutely awesome for my son. Nine months later he still is in contact with most of his delegation, some on a daily basis. The genuine smiles in his pictures meant the most to us as we knew he was truly enjoying himself. He also gained a tremendous sense of responsibility as he worked to raise the money for this program.
Thanks for posting about your son's experience with us! We are lucky to often hear from parents that their child comes home more mature and responsible - but we appreciate every time we do hear this! It's great to know your son worked to raise the money for travel tuition - we're also huge advocates of paying your way to make the most of your travels. We hope he can travel again with us - safe travels to you and yours in the meantime!
People to People International Company Information
- Company Name:
- People to People International
- Company Type:
- Year Founded:
- Formerly Named:
- People to People Ambassador Programs
- 1956 Ambassador Way
- Postal Code:
- United States
- (866) 586-2762